5 Best Family Things to Do in Bristol

Fun Places in Bristol to Take Your Kids

    Many of Bristol’s most famous exports – trip-hop music, cider, street art – aren’t entirely child-appropriate, but the city is a remarkable destination for families. If you’re travelling with animal lovers in tow, they’ll go wild for Bristol. There’s a state-of-the-art aquarium packed with incredible ocean dwellers, and then there are the majestic residents of the zoo to get to know. Bristol is liberally scattered with lush public parks, many of which feature free-to-use play areas. 

    Many of Bristol’s museums have interactive exhibits designed to appeal to all ages with handy facilities like buggy parks and baby changing rooms. The city also boasts a novel, one-of-a-kind historical attraction that’s guaranteed to enthral your whole gang. From quirky independent cafés to bustling chain restaurants, Bristol has all your family dining needs sewn up. Follow us through a selection of fun places in Bristol to take your kids.

    1

    Bristol Zoo Gardens

    Explore a 12-acre animal kingdom

    Having first opened its gates in 1836, Bristol Zoo Gardens is jam-packed with amazing creatures from every corner of the globe. 

    Swing by the monkey jungle and come face-to-face with playful spider monkeys, long-tailed macaques, and adorable lemurs. You’ll also gawp at the Asiatic lions, and other popular locals include pygmy hippos, mischievous meerkats, and a rare red panda.

    Location: College Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 3HA, UK

    Open: Daily from 9am to 5pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1179 747300

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    2

    Jump Bristol

    Bouncy castles galore

    If you’re visiting Bristol with younger children, Jump is an absolute must. It’s a huge, dedicated indoor soft play centre, with themed areas including a space zone, a pirate galleon, and an enchanted castle. 

    There’s a host of amazing super-sized inflatables, expansive ball pits, and a giant area especially for toddlers. Parents are welcome to join in and play, but you may prefer to take the opportunity for a breather and enjoy the free magazines and Wi-Fi.

    Location: 22 Concorde Road, Patchway, Bristol BS34 5TB, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10am to 6.30pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1179 312733

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    3

    La Grotta

    Enjoy classic Italian fare

    This atmospheric, family-run joint has a great-value kid’s menu, with smaller portions of fresh pizza and pasta dishes served with a soft drink and a scoop of delicious Italian ice cream for dessert. Parents, meanwhile, can gorge themselves on decadent dishes like fillet steak with pate and rich Madeira sauce.

    Location: 9 Union Street, Bristol BS1 2DD, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.45am to 2pm and from 5.15pm to 10.30pm (until late on Fridays), Saturdays from 11.30 until late (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1179 290466

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    photo by shrinkin'violet (CC BY 2.0) modified

    4

    SS Great Britain

    Board a historic steamship

    Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Britain was the world’s first major ocean liner, making its maiden transatlantic voyage back in 1845. Visitors of all ages will love the time warp feel as they stroll the decks, poke around the luxurious first-class cabins, and take a fish-eye view of the world’s oldest iron hull. 

    The adjacent Dockyard Museum tells the amazing story of the ship through a fascinating collection of paintings, photos, artefacts, and archive film.

    Location: Great Western Dockyard, Gas Ferry Road, Bristol BS1 6TY, UK

    Open: November–March: daily from 10am to 4.30pm. April–October: daily from 10am to 6pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1179 260680

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    5

    Giraffe

    Fun dining for the whole family

    The Bristol branch of this popular chain is a firm favourite with younger diners. There are tasty kids’ dishes on the menu to suit any time of day, from mini brunches to filling evening meals like beef hot dog with jacket potato wedges. The colourful atmosphere and lively music all add up to a playfully child-friendly environment too.

    Location: Glass House, 25 Penn Street, Bristol BS1 3BX, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 10am to 10pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 10.30pm, Sunday from 9am to 9pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1179 300603

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    photo by mattbuck (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

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